The 7-Step Guide to Creating Brilliant Content
Did you know the average person spends over 5 hours every day online? And that internet usage continues to grow each year?
There’s no shortage of people with an internet connection who are just waiting to fall in love with your company’s content. It’s now your job to win their hearts, minds, and wallets, by creating truly epic content. To help you bridge the gap between mediocre and excellent, or boost your volume without losing quality, here are 7 must-have tips for brilliant blogging:
1. Know Your Audience
Do you know your audience theoretically? Or on a more personal level? Your buyer personas should be data-rich profiles of the people your organization is trying to attract, and your content should be written accordingly.
If you’re struggling to obtain data, we couldn’t help but love HubSpot’s Jeff Russo’s recommendation, which is simply asking for data like Khan academy. Let your audience define themselves.
2. Get Ridiculously Perfect Keywords
We’re not talking about the kind of keyword research where you cram in a bunch of irrelevant keywords into a page until it looks like a robot wrote it. That’s just not an effective way to improve your site’s rankings or authority:
Come on, even search engines are much smarter than that! Think of modern keyword research as a stealth weapon. If you’re using the right tools and techniques, you can overtake your competitors and provide content that’s right in line with your audiences’ needs and interests.
Essentially, keyword research is a tool for differentiating your content creation, and providing better value within your verticle. For a more detailed, in-depth guide, we recommend Keyword Strategy the Right Way. Here’s How to Do it.
3. Research Continually
Really smart people - people like Jeff Bullas and Jay Baer - probably don’t sit down to do dedicated research before they write an article. I’m not saying they don’t look up key facts and studies to bolster key points, because they certainly do. However, the world’s greatest bloggers are naturally pretty immersed in their industry’s top content, and conduct research on an ongoing basis.
Develop a sophisticated system, using a tool like Evernote, to curate inspirational articles, studies, and data for use in future content creation. Your blog will become significantly more sophisticated and on-point if you’re always researching and learning.
4. Write Efficiently
Let’s hit pause for a minute and think about some of the tasks your average content marketer has to do in an average day:
- Content creation
- Content promotion
- Social media
- Guest blogging
- Researching and learning
- Planning and keyword research
It’s pretty darn overwhelming. That’s why we recommend that you work smarter, not harder, and adopt some hacks to become more efficient. This could mean shutting the door to your office, putting in your headphones and blocking out the world, or using a tool like Write or Die to get the words directly onto paper.
For more efficiency hacks, check out How to Write a Blog Post in 30 Minutes or Less (yes, really!).
5. Create Gorgeous Visual Content
Check out the image below. It’s simple, to-the-point, and best of all, it was created in about 2 whole minutes using the free graphic design tool Canva:
Your graphic design skills don’t need to be super sophisticated, but any effort at all to create custom visual content will differentiate your blog from companies that rely on stock photos. Get comfortable with one or two tools, and you’ll find that the sky is the limit. We reviewed 14 of our very favorites here.
Nothing - and I mean nothing - makes me stop reading a blog faster than a great big wall of text. Or, long paragraphs, or a lack of subheadings. The truth is, neither humans or search engines like blogs that aren’t correctly formatted with nice, small chunks of text, headings, and meta data.
We published an in-depth guide to blog formatting if you’re interested, but remember the following hacks when you create content:
- Keep your paragraphs short
- Use subheadings
- Use at least one image - more for longer content
- Illustrate with screencaps whenever possible.
7. Promote and Measure
Per expert Neil Patel, people all too often forget the “marketing” aspect of content marketing. Believe me, it’s crucial. Even if your content is truly amazing, so is lot’s of other people’s. Promotion, networking, and sharing is crucial to gain traction, relationships, and an audience.
Measurement of your blog marketing metrics is an equally crucial part of creating content. The data doesn’t lie, so embrace it for its honesty, and continually seek ways to improve your blog’s performance.
What else would you add to this list of hacks for creating content? Share your favorite tips in the comments!
Thanks for mentioning Canva, Jasmine! Great tips in your article.
You’re quite welcome, Peg! I’m an avid Canva user myself – I absolutely love it!